The hardest skill to learn is unlearning | Coaching - Leadership - Life
This is being published on Father’s Day in the US and is a day of deep reflection for me. This year isn’t an exception, Father’s Day has been a complicated day for me for most of my life. I am a happy father of 4 wonderful children who I try every day to become a better dad for them. The complication is with my own father and the man who technically raised me.
I often tell people who ask about my father that I actually have two failed dads. I have a sperm donor whom I’ve never met (and never will, thanks for asking 😚 also stop asking people that, it’s none of your effing business) and a step-dad whose life of addiction and toxicity haunts me every day. This makes Father’s Day a time of reflection of my own parenting while re-living painful times of my own childhood.
There is a quote I think of constantly, especially on days like this, that is roughly,
“One of the hardest things you’ll have to do is unlearn what your parents taught you.”
I searched high and low for attribution but unfortunately couldn’t find it. I did, however, find this wonderful article about this topic, in the blog of Dollar Shave Club of all places.
I don’t want this to turn into an essay about my feelings, I have plenty of other places for that
. The point I do want to make is that we have to make time to unlearn and re-learn, whether it is personally or professionally. Unlearning the toxic behavior we’ve encountered through our professional lives is hard. But it is important to do it so we stop carrying the biases of previous generations that are pervasive through our offices.
Self-reflection is a powerful process. We often look for external sources for evaluation. But the most important review is how we evaluate ourselves. Self-reflection is a process I’ve been working through as we exit the pandemic and spoke to it in my recent video.